04 Jun Banners and B2B
Since the early days of the internet, banners have been a crucial part of online marketing. But the best practices have changed since the 90s. For B2B, onsite banners can play a few key roles:
- Driving conversion
- Driving engagement
- Bringing in 3rd party revenue (from product or services partners)
However – before you add too many banners, you want to make sure you have adoption. Banners are standard on homepages and even some marketing pages – they can be a great visual way of pointing users into helpful directions. You can also use banners throughout the shopping experience, but we recommend that you first have the adoption and conversion rates that you are targeting. Banners can be value-adds for your users, but you don’t want them to be distracted by anything as they are learning to navigate your site.
That said, for all banners, design best practices is:
- Uncluttered design.
- Uncluttered copy. A rule of thumb: 1 concept per banner.
- Clear button with a call to action, like SHOP NOW, LEARN MORE or REGISTER NOW
For driving conversion, consider banners that feature: product promotions, shipping incentives, seasonal or holiday-focused product categories. All banners should be linked to a page where purchase is quick and easy. The goal is to drive conversions, so drive visitors to a product detail page, a category page or a shopable landing page.
See some best practices for shopping-focused banners:
Notice the use of blank or white space, minimal copy (a headline, some description copy and a clear button). When possible, create a sense of urgency (“1 Day Only”) or exclusivity (“online only”) helps drive sales.
“Engagement” is a bit of a catch-all term. Here, it means all the actions other than shopping you might want your website viewers to take: registering for the site, learning more about your company, applying for a job, signing up for email. These banners should be linked to pages that are clear, relevant and not dead ends, so if they end up on the wrong page, they can quickly get to the next page on the site.
See some best practices for engagement-focused banners:
The same rules of clear copy and images apply here. But for some instances, photos of people that reflect your users can be impactful. See how these banners guide to sign up for emails (“Garden Fresh Offers”), watch a branded video, become a seller, and register for the site. All banners answer the question: what’s in it for me?
BRINGING IN 3RD PARTY REVENUE
Web banners are real estate on your website – available for your own usage or to “rent” to partners. Co-op marketing opportunities exist for your key vendors or service partners. You can determine the terms of engagement – setting a fixed price (or negotiated terms) for a period of time, a number of views or clicks, for example. A word of caution: these banners should provide value and be relevant to your customers. You don’t want to annoy them, or distract them from their key engagements with you. These banners should underscore not detract from the value you provide. Additionally, your team should keep creative control of the design and presentation of the banners. These banners should look like a seamless part of your site, not an image lifted from someone else’s.
See some best practices for 3rd-party banners:
They are bright, engaging, and elevate the customer shopping experience.
All in all, the following rules always apply.
- Each banner should serve a specific business goal.
- Follow design and copy best practices to create banners that enhance the visual value of your site. Use them to show not tell.
- Prepare yourself for ongoing testing, learning and optimization. Try different:
- Call to action copy, presentation and placement
- Colors (does red resonate or do people see “stop”)
- Promotions (do specific products, specific seasons or specific brands drive action?)
And let us know what works for you!